ESO Press Release about a tight White Dwarf - Brown Dwarf Binary

Snapshots at different stages of the common envelope phase (black dot: BD, colors: density levels of red giant)

Maxted et al. recently discovered the existence of an extremely tight binary star system involving a White Dwarf (WD) and a Brown Dwarf (BD), with a binary separation of only 0.65 solar radii. This WD is believed to be the remnant of a 0.8-1.2 Msun Red Giant, which has lost its hydrogen envelope due to the interaction with its BD companion. In order to create such a tight WD-BD binary, the Brown Dwarf must have formed a "Common Envelope" system with the Red Giant, transferring energy and angular momentum to the Red Giant's hydrogen envelope. To study the feasability of creating such a binary system through a common envelope phase, we have produced Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of such a merger. Have a look at the ESO press release for more details or go directly to the description of our merger simulation. This story has been picked up by various other magazines as well.


Postdoc Position in Los Alamos National Laboratory

I have finished my PhD work under Tom Statler at Ohio University, and am now a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Theoretical Astrophysics Division (T-6) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. Under the supervision of Chris Fryer, I am now working on SPH simulations of stellar mergers and common envelopes, as well as elliptical galaxies AGN feedback and merger.


Official OU thesis template for download

In cooperation with the Ohio University Electronic Theses and Dissertation department (ETD), I created a LaTeX template to be used for theses and dissertations, as well as a guide on how to use it. You can download both here.



Chandra gallery

Have a look at the NASA Headquarters and Chandra press releases about our latest discovery with the Chandra X-ray satellite! In a Chandra archival study of normal elliptical galaxies, we find that their central black holes are stirring up the hot interstellar medium around. The details of this study have been presented at the January 2006 AAS meeting and will be published in more detail in an upcoming paper. You can also download this little animation.


Adaptive Binning

Tom Statler and I have developed an adaptive binning method called "WVT binning" (astro-ph/0512074) that is applicable to X-ray intensity images, hardness ratio maps and temperature maps. The procedure is written in IDL and publicly available under

Added Curriculum Vitae and research Statement (05/03/2005)

Welcome to my (future) homepage!

As you can expect from the title, this is work in progress. So far, only a few links and parts of the photo gallery are actually working. Don't leave yet, here are pictures of my recent wedding back home in Germany.

Come back soon for an update!

- Steven (05/02/2005)